|Penguins forward Bill Guerin (photo: Getty)|
Forward Bill Guerin (Wilbraham, Mass.) ended his 18-year NHL career as a Pittsburgh Penguin. And now he’ll be beginning his post-career as a Penguin.
On Wednesday, the Penguins announced that Guerin, who was a member of the team’s 2009 Stanley Cup championship team, will join the hockey operations department as player development coach.
“I’m thrilled about it,” Guerin said. “I wanted to stay in this organization. It’s nice to officially get it done and be a part of the Penguins again. I like the people that are here. I like the way things are done here.
“If I want to stay involved in the game, which I do, I want to learn from good people and this side. I feel if I surround myself with good people like they have here, it’ll be a great experience.”
In his role, Guerin will work with prospects throughout the Penguins’ organization – overseeing and coordinating the development of players from juniors, college and minor league level.
“Players in the organization, the younger ones specifically and guys in Wilkes-Barre, I’m going to make sure they are doing what they need to develop properly and become NHL players,” Guerin said. “We have different criteria for each player. We just want to make sure they’re doing what they need to do to developing properly, and giving them the best chance of becoming an NHL player.”
Guerin, who also won a Cup with New Jersey in 1995, retired as a Penguin Dec. 6, 2010 prior to the Penguins’ 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. He played the final one-plus seasons of his illustrated career in Pittsburgh, and was a critical element to the team’s ’09 championship season.
Guerin spent last season shadowing Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald (Billerica, Mass.) and assistant general manager Jason Botterill to learn many of the aspects involved in hockey operations, including player development.
“I’ve done some work in the past season with Tommy Fitzgerald and Jason in Wilkes-Barre,” Guerin said. “It helps to know everybody and how things work around here. I’ve known Tom for 20 years now and have known Dan (Bylsma) for a long time. To go through the experiences that we did together, you develop a relationship. That makes the transition nice.”